Last night, I stopped thinking about Battlefield V's battle royale mode as a semi-interesting inevitability and started getting excited. I'd just finished a three-hour stint in the open beta, when my fading memories of Battlefield's mesmerising war soup had been replaced with fresh ones. I quit out to find EA had dropped the first concrete details about what their spin on battle royale would involve, and now I can see myself ditching grandiose battles in favour of Firestorm.
As detailed in this post on Battlefield V's site, Firestorm mode will feature a storm of fire, capturable objectives and both combat and transport vehicles. The inclusion of vehicles was pretty much a given, but those objectives have captured my attention. I'm hoping they'll serve the same role as Realm Royale's forges, which provide direction beyond 'wander about picking stuff up' and generate conflict during stages of a round that would otherwise feel flat.
Those objectives function like they do in Conquest mode (you start capturing if your nearby forces outnumber your opponent's), "except some will be found at fixed locations and some at random, with varying types of supplies, weapons, and vehicles."
The post also mentions that the mode will be played with 64 players split into 16 teams on "the biggest Battlefield map to date", and that your weapons and gear will be tied to what you've unlocked in the other modes. It's not clear whether that refers to what you can start with, what you can bag from objectives, or both.
While the objectives sound neat, they're not why I'm suddenly psyched about Firestorm. I'm psyched because I know now just how much I want another battle royale game that follows behind the 'realistic' footsteps of Playerunknown's Battlegrounds, rather than the cartoony ones of Fortnite or Realm Royale. Battlefield V is beautiful, and its high-fidelity destruction paired with cracking sound design sell the illusion of being somewhere else better than any other game I can think of. The disposable body count of normal modes saps tension from that illusion, while the high-stakes of battle royale should elevate it.
I presumed Firestorm mode would come out alongside Battlefield V on November 20th, but this post refers to Battlefield V as "the base game" so it may wind up launching a little later.